From the (Southern) Field

October 26, 2010

Macon, GA — Two days into our adventure, we have been overwhelmed by the Southern hospitality we’ve received so far. After a great night in Atlanta, we went to Emory University to meet with Dohyun and Marina, two active members of Emory’s LGBTQ community. A freshman and a senior from different backgrounds and perspectives, they gave us a great snapshot of life at Emory. Videos and profiles to come!

We then drove 1.5 hours to Macon, Georgia, home of Mercer University. Noah Maier, president of Common Ground, Mercer’s LGBTQ-Straight Org., was instrumental in helping us get to the South. He contacted us after reading about We Are the Youth on this summer. Common Ground sponsored our housing here in Macon, where we are staying in the beautiful Lee Alumni House. We feel like we’re living in Victorian times. Emily Bronte, eat your heart out!

Mercer University students come primarily from Georgia, many from conservative backgrounds. Still, LGBT students at the school report feeling accepted and welcome. Last night we attended a panel, sponsored by Common Ground and QuadWorks, where four students shared their perspectives on being LGBT students. Some 50 people attended and submitted questions for the panelists. They discussed everything from gay life at Mercer to religion to negative associations to the word “queer.”

We continue to be inspired by the wonderful people we are meeting and the Jittery Joe’s coffee here at Mercer University. We have a jam-packed day with six LGBT students in line to be profiled including an exchange student from Vietnam and members of student government.

Thanks to Robert and Teresa for hosting us in Atlanta, Rhonda for facilitating said hosting, and Emory University Office of LGBT Life and Mercer University for introducing us to wonderful students.

Next stop, Statesboro, Georgia! Stay tuned for pictures of our sweet ride!